The South Africa-based joint venture of Balance Catamarans and Nexus Yachts launched hull #5 last weekend, with hull #6 due for completion later this year. The latest launch – a Balance 526 called Kai Pai – caps an eventful few months for the trans-Atlantic partnership, which recently expanded its facility in St Francis Bay to allow for tooling up its new 620 model.
Balance President Phil Berman this week told IBI the enlarged facility would also “enable us to build up to four boats at a time”. He said he and South African naval architect Anton du Toit were due to work on final interior drawings of the new model later this month during his upcoming visit to South Africa.
Berman also welcomed the overall success of the South African venture and the boats produced thus far. “To date, after over 50,000 miles of sailing on the various hulls, the first four, not a single structural problem or major warranty matter of any note at all,” Berman said. “The quality of the boat, and her superior looks and design, are turning heads everywhere. All the reports and news are positive.”
The Balance 620 is an overhaul its sister model, the Nexus/Balance 601, which itself was dubbed a ‘high speed version of the Balance 526’.
Balance and Nexus formed an exclusive partnership in 2012 to build and market high-performance catamarans in the Nexus factory in the Eastern Cape province about 700km east of Cape Town. Balance also builds boats in China in collaboration with Startown Marine.